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It's harder than it looks.

I’m a huge fan of the Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout. I understand the value in programs that help develop leadership in women. I support anything that will help girls become stronger and prepare them for life. Besides, I love cookies. Need I say more?

Unfortunately, every year, it gets harder and harder for me to buy cookies. I live on a rather tucked away corner. We have lots of neighborhood kids, but they usually don’t make it down to our house on Halloween before tiring out and going inside to eat their candy and play video games. Score another victory for childhood obesity!

Recently, I tried to buy some Girl Scout Cookies. Here’s how it went:

Step 1: Visit my local GS organization (Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri) website: http://www.girlscoutsem.org

Step 2: Follow their instructions to use the “Cookie Booth Locator” and use the link they provide: http://girlscoutcookies.org/

Step 3: Fill out the form on the “Find Cookies Today” box.

Step 4: Get an email from the Cookie Locator that says: “Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Inc. will contact you soon to tell you how to purchase Girl Scout cookies. To learn more about their cookie sale now, visit their Web site.”

Step 5: Click on link indicated in email to learn more about the cookie sale. Link takes me back to first website. (See Step 1 again.)  Realize I am caught in a vicious cycle of cookie hell.

Cookie purchase failure via Girl Scouts.

Step 6: Feel sad that I cannot buy cookies.

Step 7: Tweet about sadness at not being able to buy Girl Scout Cookies.

Step 8: Within 5 minutes, have 3 people tweet offers to sell me Girl Scout Cookies.

Cookie purchase victory via Twitter!

Step 9: The next morning, I have an email from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Again, instead of telling me where/how to get some cookies, it tells me to go back to their website and use the “Cookie Booth Locator.” Ugh. (See Step 1 again.)

The saddest part about this – it isn’t that I am so obsessed with shoving a sleeve of Thin Mints into my facehole that I will endure this runaround – no, what’s really sad is the missed opportunity on the part of the Girl Scouts.

I was talking to some fellow marketing/PR professionals later that night at an event and one of them had seen my Twitter posts. We all remarked at how easy could have been for the Girl Scouts to simply sell cookies online and use my zip code to connect my purchase to a local troop. Or, the profits could just go to GSEM.

It’s 2012. Why can’t they figure out a way to put me in touch with a Troop leader? If they’re worried I could be an unsavory character, they don’t even need to send a Girl Scout to my house. I was willing to pay for shipping if they would just send me some dang cookies! The Girl Scouts could rake in a lot more funds if they just made it easy for folks to buy cookies. Or at the very least, just NOT MAKE IT SO DIFFICULT to buy the cookies.

I will never know where the cookies are, or how I might have found them via the inappropriately named “Cookie Booth Locator.” However, the experience did teach me that once again, the power of social media prevails when something needs to get done.

Tagalongs! Samoas! Thin Mints! Oh, my!

4 thoughts on “Girl Scout Cookie Hell

  1. They should be able to set up an online ordering center, easily! If you’re not lucky like me to have neighbors right across the street that sell them you could always go on a scavenger hunt…try the Dierbergs, the 24 hour Walgreens or Schnucks this weekend. If you crave them, they will come!

  2. Hi Annie! Someone here in our office had the same problem, and here’s what you do – If you go to girlscoutcookies.org and type in your zipcode where it’s prompted, and wait a second, a little green box pops up that says “Nearest cookie booth location is x.x miles from (your zipcode). View.” If you click View, you can see where Scouts are selling cookies in your area!

    • Thanks, Sarah! I appreciate the clarification. I see that I needed to click on the upper left corner a second time to view the list. Although, I would also add that if someone within the Girl Scouts of Eastern MO office even had trouble, then imagine how confusing it is for someone who doesn’t work for the Girl Scouts to navigate. Not be very user-friendly.

      You’ll be pleased to hear that I did eventually get my cookies… about 15 boxes of them!

      Anyway, thanks for leaving the feedback. I really do appreciate it, and I’m glad to see that the GSEMO folks are keeping an eye out for feedback like mine online.

  3. I think the main reason they try not to sell them online is because the whole cookie selling situation is meant for the girls, not the customers. They don’t want to encourage online sales because they want the girls to learn selling and managing in person and in real time. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Glad you found your cookies though! Love thin mints.

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